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Pregnancy and Changes in the Mouth

by MinaLeviDDS on 2013/10/14 12:24 PM

Oral health in pregnant women has been affected by multiple factors. Research is showing that about 50-70% of pregnant women are developing pregnancy gingivitis - gum disease which is connected with bleeding, swollen and sore gums, which can lead to deep gum periodontal pockets and possible bone loss. Gum infection in pregnant women shows a high risk for pre-term low birth weight babies. All hormonal changes are causing a higher risk for gum disease and gum inflammation. Increased levels of estrogen and progesterone can also be caused by birth control pills, which can mimic the hormonal level changes during pregnancy.

 

What to do:

  1.  Keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing, flossing and rinsing with alcohol free mouth wash. Use a proper brushing technique - circular and vertical strokes with the manual toothbrush and no extra pressure on the gums in case you are using an electric toothbrush. The type of floss used depends on the tightness of the tooth contacts - for tight contacts use waxed floss and for lighter contacts use woven non-waxed floss. Alcohol mouth wash can cause some burning sensation in the mouth and stains on the teeth.
  2. Scrub your tongue 3-4 times a week - if possible use a tongue scaper for it. Clean the tongue scraper once a month by soaking it in 3% hydrogen peroxide for 15 min.
  3. See your dentist on a regular basis and every 3-4 months during pregnancy for a professional cleaning - getting the gums evaluated is important in order to avoid bone loss and progressing of the gum disease to the surrounding jaw bone. Some women end up with periodontal disease after pregnancy with deep pockets and long term damage.
  4. Control your sugar intake to prevent cavities - high carbs diet will increase the plaque accumulation which will lead to a high risk of bacterial gum disease.
  5. Use sugarless gum and candy to prevent dryness in your mouth and reduce the plaque accumulation - e.g. Xylitol gum, the active ingredient Xylitol does not break down like sugar and keeps the neutral pH level in the mouth.
  6. Drink plenty of water to fight mouth dryness.
  7. Eat crunchy fruit and vegetables - the increased chewing it takes to break down helps with the cleaning of the gums and teeth. Fruits and veggies that fall in this category are apples, pears, peaches, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli.
  8. Speak with your OB-GYN doctor in case you are taking birth control pills and are experiencing signs of gum disease to discuss possible side effects of the pills.

 

 Find out more about how gum disease can be prevented Here

 

 

Topics: Gum Disease, Pregnancy, Oral Health, Periodontitis

        

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